On the road from Mandalay to Kengtung, we found a remarkable church in Kalaw.
Fr Angelo Maria di Meo (+2000) was parish priest at the Church of Christ the King.
Born 1907 in Italy, Fr Angelo was ordained aged 23 and came to Myanmar the following year. Such was his devotion and strength of character that he refused to be expelled from the country as other missionaries were during the years of brutal tyranny under Ne Win (from 1962-1988). He remained at his post with his flock until his death in 2000. This priest continued to offer the traditional Mass all his priestly life. Although under pressure from above, Fr Angelo never learnt to say the new form of the Mass, a profound loyalty posthumously vindicated by Pope Benedict XVI's 2007 Summorum pontificum.
Even today the faithful in Kalaw still love to sing the Gloria, Credo and Sanctus in Latin every Sunday at Holy Mass. Inside the church one notices the side altars adorned with altar cloths, the altar rails intact, steps leading up to the place of sacrifice on it the Big Six.
Further east is St Joseph's Cathedral in Taunggyi, the capital of southern Shan State. The monstrance in the adoration chapel is uniquely Burmese.